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Book Plug Friday

Follow The Chupacabra got a mention over at PJ Media in their Book Plug Friday post, so I need to tip the hat in thanks to Sarah Hoyt and Charlie Martin for including it. If you’re searching for new indie books, its a good place to check out on Fridays.

In other Chupacabra news, the e-book is now also available in the Kobo store, which seems the preferred destination for many Australian readers. If any Down Under readers discover the Chupacabra on their Kobo, I’d like to hear about it (almost as much as I like saying that).


Future Reading

My next book is complete! It’s going through editing and revisions now, with beta readers getting their first looks. Title and cover to follow, but this one is a bit different than the Connor Rix books. It’s a contemporary multiverse fantasy incorporating the myths and legends of the American Southwest. I challenged myself to write a modern fantasy employing mythological beings without relying on vampires, fairies, elves, shape-shifters, or other well-used creatures. We’ve got a rich trove of myths and legends in these sun-baked parts, and I hope to use them to bring a fresh perspective to the contemporary fantasy genre. Sound interesting? Look for the book’s release in August.

Coming Soon

I’ve had a few recent inquiries about my next book (oh yes, there is one), and now the project is far enough along that I can announce a few details. I’m having a blast with this one. I just passed the 42,000-word mark and plan to release it later this summer. It’s a contemporary fantasy novel where the protagonists travel hidden paths between an infinite variety of alternate Earths—and along the way the legendary creatures of the American Southwest come to life. Shadowlands and chupacabras, baby! Stay tuned for a full synopsis and cover preview in the coming months.

Prime Time

I’ve decided to experiment a bit with one of my books. I’ve entered the first volume in myCover, Rules of Force Connor Rix series of SF thrillers, Rules of Force, in the Kindle Select program. So all you Amazon Prime members out there, you can read my book for free for the next three months. If you haven’t had the chance to dive into Connor Rix’s world of Modified super human rebels and outlaws, here’s your no-risk opportunity. I’ll be trying some other things as the summer progresses and will report back here how it all worked. Get started on that summer reading!

Prometheus Award

The nomination list for the 2013 Prometheus Award is out. Given annually by the Libertarian Futurist Society for the best pro-freedom novel published over the past year, the award will be presented at the 71st Annual WorldCon, held this year during late August and early September in San Antonio. The organization will also present a “Hall of Fame” award for the best classic fiction in the SF and fantasy genres. Some great authors have won this prize in the past, and this year’s nomination list looks intriguing. Call me grouchy, but basic liberties seem to be eroding faster than ever, making this award an increasingly important one. I plan to be at WorldCon and hope to shake the hand of the winner.

Staple 9

StapleAlong with freezing in the grandstands at my daughter’s track meet, hauling away the brushpile from my backyard and attending a wedding at a 113-year-old house, I spent part of last weekend roaming the aisles at the Staple Independent Media Expo in Austin. I wanted the chance to mingle with and talk to my fellow local writers, of course, but I was also scouting the event for next year when I may set up a table and peddle my wares. I’ll have more of my own books ready by then, and wanted to see if Staple was a good venue.

I’d have to say it is a good event for self-published genre writers, although with certain caveats. I’d estimate that 75 percent of the vendors on hand were comics creators, illustrators and animators, with only a smattering of self-published novelists wedged in-between. So it’s definitely weighted in favor the comics side of the market. But the Staple expo has recently expanded its reach to include more self-published literature, and one thing the event absolutely delivers is a very accepting audience for independent publishing efforts. Plus, there is a lot of overlap between the markets for graphic novels and comics and genre fiction such as SF, fantasy and horror, so my books wouldn’t be out of place next to a table displaying, say, Stratum Comics’ The Threat.

One takeaway from Staple was that independent comic artists are a little further along the acceptance curve than self-published writers, at least as far as public perceptions go. Although it is gradually fading in the new media environment, self-published authors still drag around some “can’t get a real publisher” baggage. But comic creators have been self-publishing successfully for decades. Some artists set out independently because they wanted to step beyond the bounds of all-ages fare that the Comics Code allowed, and others because the big comics publishers were notorious for locking up all intellectual property rights, with only crumbs left for the actual creators. Thus, fair or not, the independent comic publisher today enjoys more of a reputation as a brave, no-compromise iconoclast than your average self-pubbed romance novelist.

On the business side, with all the comic and anime conventions scattered across the nation there are now many established avenues for direct selling. Even comic shops like the Dragon’s Lair brag in their advertisements that “We sell indie comics!” I’ve been shopping at comix hotbed Austin Books since the 1980s and never had a problem finding independently-published comics. I have yet to encounter a traditional bookstore, however, that boasts of their independent novelist section. (Although if there are any out there, please let me know.)

But! You were wondering about the expo. There were some heavy-hitters in attendance along with new talent. The great Bernie Wrightson was there signing and selling his artwork and comics. Sean Wang hosted a good seminar on using Kickstarter to fund the next volume in his Runners series. That Kickstarter campaign is still live, BTW, so hop on over to see what a well-executed fund-raising campaign looks like.

Whenever I attend a convention I make a point to spend some money to support local writers and illustrators, and this time I brought home one of Jenner Carnelian’s graphic novels, which I look forward to reading. Had a great chat with him, and that was an almost universal experience at Staple. Lottsa nice people with interesting things to say. Hope to squeeze in a table amongst them next year.


Whoa! Instapundit linked to my novel Rules of Force today. Thanks, Glenn! If you followed that link to Amazon and then found your way to my website and blog, welcome! This blog is where I mostly ruminate on science-fiction, fantasy and related subjects, while a lot of my automotive material is at Rules of Force is the first in the series of Connor Rix SF thrillers, followed by Levers of Power. The third book in the series is well underway, which I hope to finish shortly.

If I may be so bold, allow me to direct your attention to my series of posts on the Incredible Hulk’s troubled 50th anniversary celebration. I’m sure everyone can relate.

Update: ROF is up to No. 22 in the science-fiction series category in the Kindle store. Thanks, Instapundit readers!